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Today we’re bringing you a ridiculously delicious, flaky, tender, golden paleo pie crust! We’ll walk you through step-by-step instructions for this grain-free crust so that you can enjoy a delicious holiday pie no matter your dietary restrictions.
This crust is not only gluten-free, but also uses a precise blend of paleo-friendly flours like almond, coconut, and arrowroot to get the right dough-like consistency for crust. It also uses egg as a binding agent to hold everything together for baking purposes. We did include grass-fed butter in this crust (because we’re definitely team butter over here), but we’ve included a quick, easy non-dairy swap for anyone who stays away from butter.
This version is made in a traditional way (originally in our Healthier Dutch Apple Pie) so we’ve outlined the steps for you below in visual form to really help guide you to get that elusive buttery and flaky texture. For many, this pie crust will be exactly what they need, cutting gluten out as the usual suspect for digestive upset. For others, even grain-free pie crusts can be problematic for two reasons: eggs and nuts. Most paleo-friendly baked goods lean heavily on nut-based flours that can be tricky in large quantities (i.e. holiday feasts) for some people, so if you’re looking for a nut and egg-free crust, THIS one is great!
Paleo Pie Crust Ingredients
This crust recipe calls for just 7 ingredients, many of which are likely in your pantry/fridge already if you’re a grain-free baker! Here’s what you’ll need to pull this pie crust together:
- Grass-Fed Butter – to start, you’ll need 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of grass-fed butter. Go ahead and cut the butter into ½-inch cubes and let it chill in the fridge until we’re ready to use it. If you’d rather leave out the butter (for a true dairy-free crust), feel free to use solid coconut oil or ghee instead.
- Arrowroot Flour – now for the paleo-friendly flour blend! You’ll need ¾ cup of arrowroot flour,…
- Almond Flour – …a ¼ cup of almond flour, and…
- Coconut Flour – …3 teaspoons of coconut flour. This combination of paleo-friendly flours creates a perfectly flaky crust.
- Coconut Sugar – to add a hint of sweetness to the crust, we’ll use 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar (feel free to leave the sweetener out for a sugar-free crust), and…
- Sea Salt – …to cut through that sweetness just a bit, we’ll use 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
- Egg – 1 large egg (be sure to grab this egg straight from the fridge so that it’s chilled!) will bind everything together beautifully!
How to Make Paleo Pie Crust
Do not be intimidated by this list of instructions! I repeat…do not be intimidated! It is long, but it is also totally manageable (I promise). Here’s how you’ll bring this pie crust together:
- Whisk Together the Flours, Sugar, and Salt – place the arrowroot powder, almond flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar, and sea salt in a large bowl, and whisk them together until evenly incorporated.
- Add the Butter – pull the chilled and cubed butter out of the refrigerator, and quickly toss the cold butter in with the dry ingredients.
- Roll the Butter into the Flour Mixture – pour the dry ingredients and butter onto a clean countertop or marble pastry board, then, using your cold rolling pin, start to roll the butter into the dry dough. Keep rolling and folding more flour over the butter until all the butter is pressed into long, very thin sheets. It will look very crumbly and not well incorporated – this is how you want it.
- Chill the Dough – gather the dough up, place it back in the mixing bowl, and refrigerate for 30 minutes – this helps keep the butter firm.
- Add the Egg to the Dough + Mix – take the dough from the refrigerator, create a small crater in the center, and crack the cold egg into the middle of the dough. Then, quickly mix the egg into the dough until it’s incorporated, but still shaggy.
- Refrigerate – place the bowl of dough (plus your rolling pin) back in the refrigerator to chill for an additional 30 minutes.
- Roll the Dough Out – to roll the dough out, dust a sheet of parchment paper (wax paper works here too) with a generous amount of arrowroot flour, and place the dough in the center. Then, using the palm of your hand, press the dough into a 2” thick disk, and dust with more flour. Cover the dough disc with an additional sheet of parchment or wax paper and then, using your cold rolling pin, roll the dough out into a ¼-inch thick sheet. If the dough cracks as you roll it out, just pinch the tear together and then press down to flatten the mend.
- Lay the Dough in a Pie Pan – to lay the dough in a pie dish, slide a baking sheet under the bottom sheet of parchment paper (so that the dough is sitting on top), and lay your buttered pie pan face-down centered on the dough. Flip the baking sheet and pie pan over so that the pie pan is now right-side up. Pull the baking sheet and parchment/wax paper away (slowly) and then guide the pie dough down into the pan.
- Mend + Trim – mend any breaks with additional dough and trim the edges to your liking.
- Bake – follow pre-bake/baking oven instructions according to your specific pie.
Tips for Making the Best Pie Crust
Here are a few tips that we learned along the way to paleo pie crust perfection:
- The most foolproof roll out method I’ve found is to roll the dough out onto a floured piece of parchment paper, then slide a sheet pan or even a piece of cardboard underneath, place the pie pan on top, and flip!
- Before refrigerating, the dough will look a bit crumbly – this is ok! After refrigerating, you’ll add the egg, which will help hold it all together to form the right consistency.
- Don’t be shy with the arrowroot flour – using a generous amount will help keep the dough from sticking to the parchment!
- If the dough breaks, simply pinch it back together.
Crafting the perfect pie crust is a science, and creating the perfect almond flour pie crust is an even bigger challenge. More often than not, truly rich and rustic pie crust recipes are passed down from generations as a family secret. There are tons of “musts” to get the ideal crust too – everything from the temperature of your butter, to how to cut it into the flour, to how long to refrigerate it for, to what type of water to use. Not to mention the fact that most of those tips are for creating a pie crust that uses gluten as an essential ingredient to create the right texture and look! With all of this being said, you can probably imagine that developing this grain-free pie crust was a challenge that was gladly accepted and NAILED!
We hope that this paleo pie crust really allows all of your guests – even those with food allergies – a perfect slice of pie!
- 1 stick butter 8 tablespoons, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and chilled, or 1/2 cup ghee or coconut oil, chilled
- 3/4 cup arrowroot flour
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 3 teaspoons coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 large egg chilled
- Place the arrowroot, almond flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar, and sea salt together in a large bowl
- Whisk them together until evenly incorporated.
- Pull the chilled and cubed butter out of the refrigerator.
- Quickly toss the butter in the dry ingredients.
- Pour the dry ingredients and butter onto a clean countertop or marble pastry board.
- Using your cold rolling pin, start to roll the butter into the dry dough.
- Keep rolling and folding more flour over the butter until all the butter is pressed into long, very thin sheets. It will look very crumbly and not well incorporated – this is how you want it.
- Gather the dough up, place it back in the mixing bowl, and refrigerate for 30 minutes further – this helps keep the butter firm.
- Take the dough from the refrigerator and create a small cater in the center. Crack the cold egg into the middle of the dough.
- Quickly mix the egg into the dough until it’s incorporated, but still shaggy. Place it (plus your rolling pin) back in the refrigerator to chill for an additional 30 minutes.
- To roll the dough out, dust a sheet of wax paper with a generous amount of arrowroot flour. Place the dough in the center.
- Using the palm of your hand, press the dough into a 2” thick disk and then dust with more flour.
- Cover it with an additional sheet of wax paper and then, using your cold rolling pin, roll the dough out into a ¼-inch thick sheet.
- If the dough cracks as you roll it out, just pinch the tear together.
- And then press down to flatten the mend.
- Try to roll it out into a rough circular shape.
- To lay the dough in a pie pan, slide a baking sheet under the bottom sheets of wax paper so that the dough is sitting on top.
- Having buttered the inside of your pie pan, lay it face-down centered on the dough.
- Flip the baking sheet and pie pan over so that the pie pan is right-side up. Pull the baking sheet and wax paper away (slowly) and then guide the dough down into the pan.
- Mend any breaks with additional dough and trim the edges to your liking.
- Fill and bake according to your pie instructions.
Mallory Cervas says
I’m not gonna lie- reading the recipe steps makes me want to barf. So much time. But this is so worth every step. Best crust ever!!!
Brandi Schilhab says
So glad you enjoyed it, Mallory!
Could this be made ahead and frozen?
Melissa Guevara says
Yes! You should be able to make this pie crust ahead of time and freeze it. -Team FF
Thank you for this recipe. do you think I could sub cassava flour for the almond flour? Thank you for taking the time to answer. Have a great holiday
Melissa Guevara says
Hi Becca! We don’t see why not! That should work fine. Enjoy! Happy holidays! -Team FF